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C1016203

Evidence for
horse armour
in the Roman Army

and the use of


Chamfrons by the
Roman cavalry
Sebastian Schuckelt

Cardiff University
Supervisor: Kate Gilliver

Sebastian Schuckelt

Evidence for horse


armour in the Roman
Army and the use of
chamfrons by the
Roman cavalry

Sebastian Schuckelt

Contents:

Acknowledgements..i
List of Figures and Tables..ii
Introduction ....1
Discussion of catalogue..5
The available evidence................................................................................................................7
Historical Sources...7
Iconography8
Archaeological Evidence..10
The use of horse armour by the Roman cavalry...12
A short history of the use of horse armour12
The distribution of Roman horse armour..16
The use of chamfrons25
Suitability for battle..25
Display and morale...31
Wider implications...38
Conclusion39
Appendix: Catalogue41
Bibliography104

Sebastian Schuckelt

With thanks to
Dr Andrew Birley: The Vindolanda Trust
Dr Barbara Birley: The Vindolanda Trust
Peter Jan Bomhof: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Dr Dirk Booms: The British Museum
Zrinka Buljevic: Arheoloki muzej u Splitu
Andrea Bumann: Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn
Dr Christina Erkelenz: Landesmuseum Braunschweig
Dr Andrew Gardner: University College London
Dr Kate Gilliver: Cardiff University
Dr Peter Guest: Cardiff University
Dr Ralph Jackson: The British Museum
Dr Birgit Heide: Mittelrheinisches Landesmuseum Mainz
Dr Fraser Hunter: National Museums Scotland
Ramona Messerig: Mittelrheinisches Landesmuseum Mainz
Dr Benjamin Naylor: University of St Andrews
Dr Barbara Pferdehirt: Rmisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz
Dr Thom Richardson: Royal Armouries Leeds
Dr Gerd Riedel: Stadtmuseum Ingolstadt
Ursula Rudischer: Mittelrheinisches Landesmuseum Mainz
Dr Toni Seser: Arheoloki muzej u Splitu
Dr Bernd Steidl: Archologische Staatssammlung Mnchen
Dr Guy D. Stiebel: Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mag. Karoline Zhuber-Okrog: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
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List of Figures and Tables


Figures:
Figure 1. Scene 37 from Trajans Column...9
Figure 2. Graffito of cataphract from Dura Europos..10
Figure 3. Scene from the Standard of Ur....12
Figure 4. Greek chamfron and chest guard.13
Figure 5. Grave stele from Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt...14
Figure 6. Artists reconstruction of cataphracts..16
Figure 7. Artists reconstruction of a complete set of Roman parade armour18
Figure 8. Map of horse armour finds..20
Figure 9. Repouss work on a chamfron from Straubing...29
Tables:
Table 1. The chronological distribution of chamfrons...21
Table 2. Development of soldiers pay over time...37

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Introduction:
The Roman Army has been a focus of research and interest for centuries, with many scholars
throughout the world researching numerous different areas of this highly interesting theme.
The Roman cavalry, however, has received far less attention than other aspects of this field.
Even amongst those researchers who have investigated this topic, few have specifically
considered the use of horse armour in the Roman Army and how this would have influenced
the way in which Romes armies operated during war. Even in works that do cover the Roman
cavalry, the specific subject of Roman horse armour has attracted very little attention.

There seem to be several reasons why, until recently, the topic of Roman horse armour seems
to have attracted very little attention in the academic world. First of all, it has been widely
believed that the cavalry played a far less significant role within the Roman Army of the
Principate, the bulk of Romes fighting power being focused on the Legions. Naturally then,
any smaller element within this underestimated service would be considered even less
interesting. Secondly, when talking about Roman horse armour most people would be
forgiven for immediately thinking of heavily armoured cataphractarii and clibanarii, so
vividly described by Plutarch as having defeated Crassus at the battle of Carrhae and depicted
fleeing from Roman forces on Trajans Column. These, however, are all cases of Romes
enemies using armoured cavalry, with very little pictorial evidence for the Roman equivalent,
and in any case these descriptions and images refer only to a small proportion of the type of
equipment that can be conceived of as horse armour.

The idea of Roman horse armour only being related to the afore-mentioned extreme, and often
exaggerated, cases, in which both rider and horse are clad in armour from head to hoof, is one
of the mistaken assumptions that have prompted the research presented in this dissertation,

Sebastian Schuckelt

thereby reflecting the change in perspective in recent scholarship. In fact, contrary to the
epigraphic evidence, the vast majority of archaeological finds that can be identified as horse
armour do not fit into the picture of heavily armoured cavalry. Instead they can be seen as
individual, composite pieces of protective equipment, which do not necessarily constitute full
sets of armour. Sadly though, most of these finds have not been studied within the framework
of this broader topic, but merely as individual finds within certain excavation reports, such as
Curles report (1913) on the chamfrons from Newstead, thereby removing them from their
social and military context. Few of the authors of these reports have given any detailed
consideration to their significance and their function within the Roman cavalry. Consequently,
this topic has tended to be neglected by archaeologists, leaving the study of ancient armoured
cavalry as a whole to ancient historians.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions to this. Some archaeologists must indeed be credited for
presenting elements of horse armour as one of the main focal points of their studies, most
prominently Jochen Garbsch, whose seminal work Rmische Paraderstungen (1978)
includes a large number of chamfrons and other military equipment found throughout Europe
and the Middle East. However, as the title suggests, his work mainly focused on those pieces
of armour which can be interpreted as parade armour, a problem that is discussed throughout
this dissertation. By its nature, this term excludes such objects as the impressive iron and
bronze horse trappers from Dura Europos in Syria. In this specific case, Simon Jamess report
(2004) on the excavations at Dura Europos undertaken from 1928 to 1937 offers a good
presentation of these finds, arguably some of the most important ones under consideration in
this dissertation. In addition to this, H. R. Robinsons The Armour of Imperial Rome (1975)
offers an extensive overview on the topic of Roman armour in general, including horse
armour, but once again focusing more on their use as parade equipment, rather than their

Sebastian Schuckelt

potential role in actual combat. Hence, previous publications that have focused on or include
sections concerning horse armour, most of which are several decades old, have approached
the subject from a different angle than that which will be attempted here.

This dissertation aims to present a different view on the use and distribution of Roman horse
armour, especially the chamfrons worn by the horses of the cavalry, whilst arguing that the
parades and exercises of the type described in Arrians Hippika Gymnasia are by no means
the sole context in which such equipment would have been used in this period. Accordingly,
the catalogue attached to this dissertation will form the basis for interpreting the distribution
and function of Roman horse armour and considering how this may help us understand the
role the cavalry had in Roman warfare. Furthermore, the focus will be on what the abundant
evidence for such horse armour, especially in the form of chamfrons, and its distribution can
tell us about the way the Roman Army employed its cavalry forces. In order to obtain a
clearer picture on this issue, it will be necessary to consolidate all the known archaeological
finds of elements of horse armour, and to evaluate their positioning along the frontiers of the
Roman Empire, their assumed dates and the circumstances of their deposition. Moreover,
some theoretical aspects such as the concept of art in the ancient world and different
approaches to the question of interpretation will also be covered to a certain extent within this
work.

It is hoped that this dissertation will present a modified picture of the Roman cavalry and how
it protected its horses. It will be suggested that the differences between armour designed for
parade and war might perhaps not be as large as previously thought. Naturally, the full scale
of this highly interesting topic cannot be covered within the scope of this dissertation.

Sebastian Schuckelt

However, it should act as a starting point from which to conduct further research in this field
and to provide a database for the study of individual pieces of horse armour.

Sebastian Schuckelt

Discussion of Catalogue:
The catalogue attached to this dissertation contains over ninety complete or fragmentary
pieces of Roman horse armour and has the purpose of serving as a database from which to
gather information on Roman horse armour. It has to be said at this point that this is by no
means an exhaustive collection of all known pieces of such armour, since certain elements
such as chest guards have not been included. Given the limitations of this dissertation, the
author has directed his research first on the Roman cavalry's use of horse armour in general
and then focused more specifically on chamfrons as an individual category of military
equipment. The approach taken in respect of the chamfrons, however, could equally be
applied to chest guards or any other element of Roman horse armour and is therefore not
exclusive to the selection presented in this catalogue. Organised in a chronological manner,
the catalogue enables the reader to appreciate the development of chamfron styles and designs
from the early first century to the third century AD. The details provided for every piece
should enable the reader to acquire the basic knowledge to conduct their own further research
should this be necessary.

Although the information provided is as accurate as possible, there are a few uncertainties
prevailing which require our attention. Firstly, the exact dates of some of the chamfrons and
eye guards are unknown or have a very wide range, due to the quality of excavation during
which they were retrieved or other unknown circumstances. The lack of such dates therefore
can potentially distort our dataset and understanding of these objects, making any
interpretation more difficult. Secondly, there is potential uncertainty as to the nature of two
eye guards represented, namely the ones from Lith, Netherlands (catalogue No. 25) and
Megen, Netherlands (catalogue No. 26). Given the visual likeness of these pieces, it is
possible that they constitute a pair of eye guards, rather than two completely separate ones, or

Sebastian Schuckelt

even potentially the same piece published with two different places of origin. Unfortunately
this issue could not be resolved at the time of writing, leaving additional work to be done for
other scholars. Furthermore, several other pieces in the catalogue have no known
archaeological origin and are only known of from auctions (catalogue No. 34-36 and No. 63).
Under these circumstances any information regarding origin, date or context is extremely
difficult to acquire. This also means that there could potentially be many more chamfrons or
other elements of Roman horse armour existing in private collections, of which we have no
knowledge. This is also emphasised by the case of catalogue No. 58, a Type C chamfron that
was seized from a smuggler in Turkey.

Lastly it is worth taking a closer look at a specific chamfron, namely one found at the
legionary fortress of Caerleon in 2009 (catalogue No. 90). In this particular case, the
chamfron was discovered within a warehouse, the collapse of which could be dated quite
accurately to the middle of the fourth century AD. The materials and design of the chamfron,
however, are reminiscent of those found at Vindolanda and Newstead. This raises serious
questions concerning the longevity of use of chamfrons and other military equipment, as well
as our interpretation of stratigraphic relationships within the archaeological record.

Overall, however, it is hoped that this catalogue will provide scholars with a comprehensive
collection of all currently known finds of Roman chamfrons and trappers and enable future
research to focus on solving some of the problems discussed above as well as expanding our
knowledge of this highly interesting element of Roman military equipment.

Sebastian Schuckelt

The Available Evidence:


Although the evidence for the distribution and use of chamfrons and other elements of horse
armour might not be as plentiful as one would wish, there are still ample sources, ranging
from iconography and historical accounts to the material remains in the ground, to allow
careful analysis and interpretation to be undertaken. This can potentially help archaeologists
gain a clearer picture of the use of horse armour by the Roman Army, especially with respect
to the so-called parade armour, and determine whether our current interpretations are still
applicable. For this study, three main categories of sources can be identified as being useful
for our understanding of the topic.

Historical sources:
Throughout Roman history many ancient writers wrote about the Roman Army, yet only few
sources are of paramount importance for this study. One of the most important authors is
Arrian, whose description of the Hippika Gymnasia in his Ars Tactica provides a vivid
account of Roman cavalry equipment employed during training exercises and hence usually
referred to as sports equipment (Stephenson and Dixon 2003). This text stands at the centre
of the attempted answer to the question of the use of the parade equipment that Arrian
describes. The theory that elements of horse armour, including chamfrons, were more widespread than has previously been assumed, and that their use was not just confined to the
training ground, is one of the core aspects of this study, and evidence in support of this theory
will be sought from a variety of sources.

Another important author is Ammianus Marcellinus, who provides several useful insights into
the use of armoured cavalry by the Romans and their enemies in his work on the later Roman
Empire. Other sources, such as Julius Caesars Gallic War are only helpful in understanding
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certain side issues connected with this topic, all of which will be discussed throughout this
study. However, no single historical account exists that can provide us with enough detailed
understanding of the use of Roman horse armour other than on the training ground as
described by Arrian. Therefore, it is necessary to re-interpret other writings, some of which
contain valuable clues that may contribute to our understanding, but which force us to look
further afield for information than might be expected. It must also be taken into account that
the sources used for the study of this subject cover a vast chronological spectrum, from the
late first century BC to the fourth century AD. This results in a wide range of problems
concerning the use of these sources for our understanding of a different time period, a fact that
will remain apparent throughout this study.

Iconography:
The use of iconographic evidence for research on Roman military equipment can be very
misleading at times. One only has to think of the carvings on Trajans Column in Rome to
realise that every image must be evaluated critically. However, iconographic evidence from
tombstones or monuments does provide visual references to the use of chamfrons and horse
armour, albeit less numerously than archaeological evidence, which will be discussed below.
Hardly any representations of horse armour, or indeed of chamfrons, are known from
tombstones or large monuments, exceptions of course, such as a scene on Trajans Column
depicting Sarmatian cataphracts using eye guards (see Figure 1), only proving the norm. The
lack of evidence for horse armour on tombstones could certainly be explained by aesthetic
considerations (Junkelmann 1992, 202), meaning that it could have been the personal choice
of the deceased or his commemorators to not depict the full array of the soldiers military
equipment. This could be due to the fact that the main function of a tombstone was to
preserve the memory of the deceased soldier (Hope 2001, 2), not to display his military attire.

Sebastian Schuckelt

This theory is backed by the presence of a tombstone found in Germany in 1930, dedicated to
two members of the Ala Firma Catafractaria (Spaul 1994, 82 and Wiegels 2013b).

Figure 1. Scene 37 from Trajans Column showing Sarmatian cataphracts using eye guards.
Source: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~trajan/?page_id=107 Accessed: 24.04.2014

Additionally, a sadly lost grave inscription mentions a Decurio of the same unit who was
killed during the Germanic campaign of Maximinus Thrax (Gamber 1968, 16). In these two
cases we can certainly associate the soldiers with a heavily armoured cavalry unit and yet
neither the man (only one is depicted on the tombstone) or the horse in the first example are
shown with any kind of armour. An exception to this lack of depictions of horse armour is a
graffito from Dura Europos (see Figure 2), showing a possible Roman cataphract on his horse.
In light of this evidence, we can assume that our perception of the lack of use of horse armour
within the Roman Army, based on iconography, is substantially flawed, and so we need to
turn to the archaeological material in order to get a clearer picture of the situation.

Sebastian Schuckelt

Figure 2. Graffito from Dura Europos showing a heavily armoured cataphract on his horse.
Source: Gamber 1968, 30.

Archaeological evidence:
Without counting breast plates, which have not been included in the catalogue, over ninety
examples of Roman horse armour have been found since the late eighteenth century, ranging
in date from the late first century BC to possibly the fourth century AD. The vast majority of
these finds are chamfrons, protective head gear for horses made usually of either leather or
copper alloy. The majority of these chamfrons were found in Britain and southern Germany,
most famously in the hoard deposits of Straubing and Eining. The only finds of actual horse
armour trappings are from Chatalka in Bulgaria (Bujukliev 1986 and DAmato 2009, 198)
and the famous siege site of Dura Europos in Syria (see James 2004). This uneven distribution
of horse armour finds across the former Roman Empire makes the detailed analysis and
interpretation of these finds all the more difficult. Nevertheless, certain patterns of distribution

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and chronology are clearly discernible, the details of which will be outlined in the following
section. It is hoped that, with a structured approach, it might be possible to determine the
development of the use of horse armour by the Roman cavalry, its distribution along the
various frontiers and, to a certain extent, the typological classification of these often highly
decorative pieces of horse armour, especially in relation to the chamfrons.

The following sections will discuss the above-mentioned aspects of Roman horse armour and
attempt to answer the question of whether, given the evidence, the term parade armour is
still applicable to some elements of this type of Roman military equipment.

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The use of horse armour by the Roman cavalry:


A short history of the use of horse armour:
Armour worn by horses was certainly nothing new for the Romans when the army of Marcus
Licinius Crassus was defeated at the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC (Schuckelt 1998, 9). The
heavily armoured cataphracts, which Plutarch describes as having charged through the ranks
of Crassus legions (Plutarch, Crassus XXIII-XXVII), probably originated from amongst the
steppe nomads of central Asia in the sixth century BC (Rubin 1955). The evidence for armour
used on horses and other animals, however, goes back even further, to around 2,500 BC in
Mesopotamia (Demmin 1893, 182; see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Scene from the war panel on the Standard of Ur depicting a chariot pulled by lightly armoured
Onager.
Source: Schuckelt 1998, 7

The invention of so-called heavy cavalry of the type described by Plutarch and Ammianus,
and its tactical combination with infantry, on the other hand, can most likely be attributed to
the Assyrians (Eadie 1967, 161) and there is certainly a consensus that this type of warfare
originated somewhere in the East (Mielczarek 1993, 47). From there, this type of equipment
and its ensuing tactical changes spread westwards, the Greeks using chest guards and
chamfrons by the sixth century BC (Gamber 1968, 11 and Junkelmann 1992, 204; see Figure
4).

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Figure 4. Greek chamfron and chest guard, found in Lower Italy, sixth century BC.
Source: Gamber 1968, 11

When exactly the Romans began using horse armour is not certain, given the very
fragmentary nature of the evidence for horse armour itself and the bias in the distribution of
this evidence, of which more will be said later. The first use of armoured cavalry units
distinguishable by name is attested during the time of Hadrian, with the founding of the Ala I
Gallorum et Pannoniorum Catafractata probably already under Trajan (Eadie 1967, 167;
Gamber 1968, 14; Mielczarek 1993, 73 and Roxan and Eck 1997). According to Arrian
(Tactica, 4), who served under Hadrian in the late 130s AD, there were two types of cavalry,
armoured and unarmoured, the armoured horses being equipped with side-protectors and
forehead-protectors. Arrian could, therefore, be describing the first recorded use of such
armoured cavalry by the Roman Army; such cavalry would have potentially filled a perceived
capability gap that had existed before. Apart from the Sarmatian influence (Negin 1998, 65) which is most obvious given Hadrians predecessors experiences in the Dacian Wars Parthians, Sassanids and Palmyrenians equally inspired the Romans in this important military
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development (Nikonorov 1998, 134). This continued into the later phase of the Roman
Empire, and by the third century, when we again have epigraphic and literary evidence
(Speidel 1984, 154 and Fischer 2012, 100; see Figure 5), armoured cavalry had become a
regular occurrence within Roman armies (Coulston 1990, 139 and Mielczarek 1993, 75) and
was used in battles such as Strasbourg in 357 (Gamber 1968, 29; Hoffmann 1969 and Speidel
1984).

Figure 5. Grave stele from Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt depicting a member of a cataphractarii unit.
Source: Wiegels 2013b

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In terms of this apparent increase in evidence for armoured cavalry in the later Roman
Empire, it is perhaps worth considering the tactical changes the Roman Army underwent in
this time. During the Principate the main task of Roman cavalry had been more in a combat
support role, meaning conducting foraging and reconnaissance operations on campaign or
generally policing the borders of the Empire (Dixon and Southern 1992, 137-140 and Penrose
2005, 251). With the majority of Romes forces being stationed directly on or close to the
frontier up until the late third century, the need for heavily armoured cavalry units would have
been less great and only become apparent during active campaigning. This make up of Roman
armies changed, however, during and after the reign of Constantine (312 337 AD). With his
division of the Roman Army into frontier troops (limitanei) and field armies (comitatensis),
an opportunity would have arisen for the increased use of armoured cavalry in the latter. This
is indeed the case in the Eastern Empire, where the Notitia Dignitatum informs us that the
majority of armoured cavalry units there were part of the comitatensis, whereas in the West
they formed part of the limitanei (Mielczarek 1993, 78). This development can already be
seen under Diocletian, whose creation of the post of magister equitum (master of the cavalry)
indicates the increasing importance of cavalry troops during this period (Penrose 2005, 243).
With the focus of the comitatensis on full scale battles, rather than frontier control, it would
therefore have been easier to employ heavy cavalry for this role. It also seems that, in order to
support the increased use of such troops, the Emperor Diocletian created fabricae in the cities
of Antioch, Nicomedia and Caesarea, which specialised in producing armour for heavy
cavalry (Gamber 1968, 30).

It seems therefore, that the apparent increase of armoured cavalry from the late third century
onwards is related to a change in strategy and battle tactics across the Empire, sparked by the
developed threat of enemy cavalry across multiple borders of the Roman world (see Figure 6).

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Despite this evidence, the historical sources do not allow us to understand the entire breadth
of the use of horse armour in the Roman Army, neither chronologically nor geographically.
The next section will therefore take a closer look at the distribution of the archaeological finds
of horse armour throughout the Roman world, providing an insight into both the scale of the
potential use of such armour, as well as the apparent changes over time.

Figure 6. Artists reconstruction of Parthian and Armenian cataphracts.


Source: Penrose 2005, 224.

The distribution of Roman horse armour:


As has already become apparent and can be seen very clearly in the catalogue, the horse
armour used by the Roman cavalry can generally be divided into two distinct categories,
namely trappers covering the body of the horse and chamfrons for the head. Unfortunately,
the archaeological evidence for trappers, unlike the literary accounts, is very scarce indeed. In
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fact, only two sites are known to have produced metal horse trappers in the archaeological
record. Those sites are Chatalka in Bulgaria (catalogue No. 33) and Dura Europos in Syria
(catalogue Nos. 87-89).
Although these finds are extremely rare, they certainly prove that, by the second century at the
latest, Roman soldiers were using metal armour to protect their horses. The trappers from
Dura Europos can potentially be identified as Roman, since the three examples excavated
there were found on the ground floor of the collapsed Tower 19, the tower which the attacking
Sassanids had been undermining (James 2004). It has been argued that these trappers were
most likely being kept in the tower awaiting repair (James 2004, 115), when the tower
collapsed and buried them. Military equipment is generally far more likely to be deposited in
the archaeological record if it is being kept in storage for repair or reuse, or if it has been
abandoned (Coulston 1990, 146; see also Hill 2013), which is why we must rely on special
archaeological circumstances for the discovery of more such equipment. There is, of course,
the possibility that these trappers had previously been captured from the Sassanids. However,
if the Romans had wanted to repair and then use these trappers themselves, it is reasonable to
assume that a certain amount of knowledge and expertise on the use of horse armour must
have already existed. Whatever the origin of the Dura trappers, given the existence of so few
examples of such horse armour, any attempt at a typological evaluation would be futile. This,
however, is not the case with chamfrons.

Chamfrons have often been associated with so-called parade armour, a term inspired by
Arrians description of the Hippika Gymnasia, and which consisted of the afore-mentioned
chamfrons, parade helmets, and highly decorated breast plates for both men and horses, as
well as greaves (Garbsch 1978; see Figure 7). Whether these chamfrons can only be attributed
to these training events will be discussed below, but they certainly make up the vast majority

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of finds related to Roman horse armour. Typologically, there is certainly a substantial degree
of variation between the discovered chamfrons, both over the time of their use and their
perceived function. The typology that will be employed in this dissertation is as follows.

Figure 7. Artists reconstruction of a complete set of Roman parade armour.


Source: Knzl 2008, 110

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Type A chamfrons are the leather examples found at Newstead, Carlisle, Vindolanda and
Caerleon, as well as the round eye guards, which were most likely intended for flexible use
with these leather chamfrons (Robinson 1975, 190; Junkelmann 1992, 205 and Jackson and
Craddock 1995, 81). The type B category consists of those small three-piece chamfrons (e.g.
catalogue Nos. 66 & 67), as well as the pointed eye guards intended for attachment on the
bridle (e.g. catalogue No. 9) which would therefore have offered very limited protection, to
the horses eyes only. Type C will constitute those large, three-piece metal chamfrons, the
most famous examples of which were found in Straubing (e.g. catalogue No. 55). Lastly,
Type D represents a slight deviation from the other categories. This type represents those
single-piece metal chamfrons without eye guards in the Greek style (see Figure 4), of which
the only two Roman examples were found at Neuss (catalogue No. 2) and Nijmegen
(catalogue No. 3), which date to the first century AD. This typology has also been proposed
by other scholars. Nicolay (2007) for example, has likewise divided chamfrons into three
main types, although his Type B category does not include the small three-piece chamfrons
and he dismisses the Type D chamfrons entirely. Fischer (2012) offers a very similar typology
to that suggested here, including the leather chamfrons. For this reason, the system proposed
above by the author and by Fischer and Nicolay will be used for the purposes of this
dissertation.

Having established a basic typology for the chamfrons, it is now worth taking a closer look at
the distribution and chronological development of the various finds of Roman horse armour.
Geographically, there is certainly a strong bias in the archaeological evidence, both for
chamfrons and horse armour in general. Leather chamfrons, for example, have so far only
been found in Britain, namely in Carlisle, Newstead, Vindolanda and Caerleon (see

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catalogue). It is worth noting here too that the only likely metal chamfron from Britain was
found in Caerleon, dating to the second or third century (see catalogue No. 56).

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This, however, is probably not a true reflection of the distribution of these chamfrons, but is
more due to the fact that leather only survives under special circumstances (Van Driel-Murray
1985, 43). Round metal eye guards, however, appear more widely in the archaeological
record, thereby enabling us to recognise a wider distribution of type A chamfrons than
otherwise thought (Negin 2010, 159). The other bias we must consider, however, is connected
with the level of archaeological research undertaken in various parts of the former Roman
Empire. The vast majority of chamfrons are found in the provinces of Britannia and Raetia,
modern day Britain and southern Germany and Switzerland respectively (see Figure 8). These
are countries in which archaeological research and heritage have a long and distinguished
history. Other areas which had a very long and substantial Roman military presence, such as
modern day Syria or Libya, lack this level of archaeological research and, given the political
situation in the region at the time of writing, are not likely to increase this research very soon.
Any interpretation of the distribution and use of horse armour within the Roman Army must
therefore be undertaken very cautiously and with this problem in mind (Haynes 2013, 247). It
must be emphasised, however, that the use of chamfrons in the Roman Army was probably a

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lot more wide spread than the iconography on tombstones or monuments suggests
(Junkelmann 1997, 79).
The amount of material available does allow us to propose a potential chronology for the
chamfrons and possibly even for the horse trappers. As can be seen in Table 1, a
chronological development is certainly discernible concerning the use of the different types of
chamfrons. The earliest known chamfron is a type B example found in Herrera de Pisuerga in
Spain (catalogue No. 1) and dating to the late first century BC to the very early first century
AD (Aurrecoechea 2010, 89). Type B chamfrons continue to be used uninterruptedly up until
the third century, with just a short lack of evidence for the late second to early third centuries.
From the first century AD onwards, however, and especially in the late first century, the use
of leather type A chamfrons seems to have prevailed. It must be said, however, that the larger
number of type A chamfrons for this period is largely derived from the finds in Vindolanda,
Newstead and Carlisle, again making an Empire-wide prediction more complicated. From the
second century onwards, type C chamfrons begin to dominate the archaeological record of
concern. Interestingly, the first known example of such a chamfron originates from Tell Oum
Hauran in Syria (catalogue No. 38), dating to the second century. Chronologically, the next
example of a type C chamfron is from Alba Iulia in modern day Romania. All type C
chamfrons found west of Romania date to a later period. It might therefore be conceivable to
think that the large metal chamfrons originated in the Eastern Empire, before spreading
westwards. Sadly though, there is not enough evidence from the Eastern provinces to fully
back this diffusionist theory, but it is worth considering such a development, given the
influence peoples such as the Parthians had on the development of Roman armoured cavalry
as a whole.
The same development, from leather to metal (Robinson 1975, 192), might be suggested for
the trappers worn by the horses of the Roman cavalry. Whilst Chatalka and Dura Europos

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have revealed the only examples of trappers made of metal scales, a possible leather trapper
was discovered at Carlisle (catalogue No. 14), along with the corresponding leather
chamfrons (Winterbottom 1989). Dated to between the late first and early second century AD,
this leather horse armour substantially pre-dates those examples from Dura Europos. The
possibility that the Roman cavalry might have used leather armour is backed by Arrian
(Tactica 34), who states that during the Hippika Gymnasia the horses were protected from
missiles by their armour. Since it is hard to imagine a cavalryman burdening his mount with
heavy metal armour for an exercise, it is reasonable to assume that this armour could have
been made of leather. Furthermore, Ammianus Marcellinus describes Persian horses being
protected by leather housings in combat (Ammianus 24.6.8). Once again, it is necessary to
note that the large discrepancy in the dates of our sources and the material evidence makes a
clear interpretation and analysis very problematic, but it is certainly not inconceivable to think
that the Roman cavalry could also have utilised this type of horse armour over a longer period
of time and far earlier and in greater proportion than would otherwise be assumed
(Junkelmann 1992, 210).

One final aspect of the distribution of horse armour, especially of chamfrons, must be
considered, namely the potential association of this equipment with particular units of the
Roman Army. This dissertation argues that horse armour was used far more widely
throughout the Roman Army and was not just reserved for special units. The question of
whether horse armour was used only by certain units can be resolved by looking at the unit
affiliations of the places of origin of some of the chamfrons. Whilst some finds, such as those
from Ribchester or Weienburg, can certainly be associated with alae, units which Bishop
(1988) refers to as true cavalry, others such as those from Straubing, arguably the most
elaborate and therefore expensive examples, are not associated with any ala, but rather

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coincide with the posting of the Cohors I Canathenorum Milliaria Sagittariorum (Spaul 2000,
427 and Prammer 2012), an infantry unit of archers. Other finds, such as those from Mainz
and Carnuntum, could potentially be associated with Legionary cavalry, even though Feugre
(2010, 133) claims that auxiliary cavalry were better equipped than their legionary
counterparts. Even the armour from Dura Europos cannot be associated with any special
armoured cavalry regiment, but perhaps more likely with a mixed cohort of infantry and
cavalry (James 2004, 248-249). It has been attempted to see the division of the Roman cavalry
into equites alae, equites cohortes, and equites legionis as a Roman effort to separate its
cavalry according to quality. If this were true, one would expect to find the majority of finds
of Roman horse armour in places where a certain type of unit had been stationed. This is not
the case, however, which means that this theory can no longer be supported. There is
therefore no tangible evidence to suggest that the use of chamfrons and horse armour was
reserved for just a small part of the Roman cavalry, and it is moreover conceivable that the
majority of Romes cavalry might have been equipped with at least a basic level of horse
armour (Stephenson and Dixon 2003, 113) and that cavalry units with the word cataphractarii
in their name, may only indicate a different tactical role, rather than different equipment.

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The Use of Chamfrons:


Having investigated the distribution of chamfrons and, to an extent, their relationship with
horse armour in general, this dissertation will now focus on the question of whether
chamfrons were really only used for the Hippika Gymnasia described by Arrian, or whether
they were also used in actual combat. To this end, it will first be necessary to establish
whether these pieces of equipment were at all useful for such purposes. This will be done by
analysing the qualities of the materials used for their construction and comparing these to
other pieces of Roman military equipment. Secondly, a closer look will be taken at the
decorative elements on these chamfrons, tying these in with the general concept of art and
display in Roman warfare. The results of this investigation can then subsequently be applied
to a wider study of Roman military equipment and warfare as a whole. It is hoped, therefore,
that the interpretations presented in this dissertation will be of use for scholars throughout the
discipline of Roman military archaeology.

Suitability for battle:


Whether or not chamfrons were used by the Roman cavalry in a combat environment depends
mainly on two factors, namely the qualities of the materials these chamfrons were made of
and the overall effectiveness and benefits these pieces of equipment would have brought
through other aspects. In fact, a general differentiation between combat and parade armour
can potentially be made according to the equipments decoration, functionality and materials
(Junkelmann 1996, 16). Considering the materials in question, we are primarily faced with
leather and copper alloy chamfrons, with only a few exceptions. The focus shall therefore be
first on the leather chamfrons.

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Most scholars would agree that if any chamfrons were used in combat, the leather Type A
examples would be the ones most likely to have been employed in that role (Junkelmann
1997, 79; Schuckelt 1998, 10 and Fischer 2012, 227-228), although there is a strong argument
for the Type B chamfron from Herrera de Pisuerga (catalogue No. 1) having also been used in
battle (Aurrecoechea 2010, 89). However, the author would argue that there is no definite
reason to suggest that the other copper alloy chamfrons might not also have been used in the
same way. A cavalrymans horse, after all, was his most important asset (Junkelmann 1992,
202), not only in financial terms, but also on an operational and even personal level. In fact,
the vast majority of tombstones dedicated to members of the Equites Singulares Augusti
include depictions of horses (Speidel 1994, 109), indicating a very close relationship between
human and animal. Considering this, it would be very illogical not to protect your horse
sufficiently in combat (Junkelmann 1992, 205). Some, however, still believe that chamfrons,
along with other decorative equipment, were not used or even useful in battle (MacMullen
1960, 25). Concerning the Type A chamfrons, it must be noted that two examples of these
from Vindolanda, which can perhaps be seen as typical representations of this type, are
between four and five millimetres thick (Van Driel-Murray 1989, 283). To this were added a
substantial number of metal studs and phalarae (Van Driel-Murray 1989, 289 and Hill 2013),
as well as possible textile padding underneath (Van Driel-Murray 1989, 291). All this would
have resulted in a piece of equipment offering suitable protective qualities and it therefore
seems perfectly plausible that they could also have been used in combat scenarios. Andrew
Birley, however, (pers. corresp.) believes that the leather would not have been sufficient to
protect a horses head against direct blows and that the chamfrons are more likely to be
decorative in nature. The author does not share this view, however, as the thickness of the
leather, with the addition of potential padding and metal studs, would have provided more
protection than some Medieval counterparts (Schuckelt, pers. corresp.).

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It is perhaps debatable therefore, that Type A chamfrons were more adept for use in war than
other chamfron types. There seems to be a consensus, however, that highly decorated metal
chamfrons were less suited for such use and reserved for the parade ground (Junkelmann
1997, 79). In order to analyse these chamfrons more accurately, a comparison with other
related pieces of equipment will be necessary. Since metal chamfrons are associated with
Hippika Gymnasia-type events, the best comparison will be sought from other protective
equipment equally associated with such performances, namely helmets and greaves. Masked
cavalry helmets were most likely not a Roman invention, but were introduced quite rapidly by
Thracian auxiliaries in the first century AD (Waurick 1983, 796). If this assumption is
accurate, then one must wonder whether such a new piece of equipment, after having been
introduced into the Roman Army, would have immediately been reserved purely for parades.
However, in the second and third centuries AD, the period most relevant in relation to these
chamfrons, there seem to be two different types of masked helmets in circulation. Those
copper alloy helmets consisting of two similarly sized front and back parts, as found in the
Straubing hoard, do indeed seem to have been reserved for parade-type events and their
weight and thickness differs considerably from that of so-called battle helmets (Born 1997,
179 and Lendon 2005, 273). The latter type of helmet, often made wholly or partially of iron
(Junkelmann 1996), can be up to three or even four millimetres thick (Junkelmann 1996, 51
and Born 1997, 179) and would probably also have included textile padding on the inside.
Their different design, with the mask being easily detachable from the rest of the helmet adds
to the more flexible use of these helmets in battle. Several such helmets have been discovered
over the decades, some of which, including the famous face mask from Kalkriese (Moosbauer
and Wilbers-Rost 2007, 32) and a number of examples found in Nijmegen, could certainly
have been used in actual combat (Mitschke and Schwab 2010, 62). One could suggest,

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therefore, that some of these so-called sports helmets were actually meant for combat
operations (Coulston 1990, 146).

When looking at Type B and Type C chamfrons, however, one fails to notice such a diversity
of forms and materials. In fact, apart from the exception of the Type B chamfron from Dalj,
Croatia (Radman-Livaja 2005, 941 and Sanader 2010; catalogue No. 10), all known metal
chamfrons and eye guards are made of copper alloy and are thinner than some of the battle
helmets. Comparisons, however, can again be found with helmets. According to Junkelmann
(1996, 51), some of these helmets dating to the second and third centuries are only around one
millimetre thick. However, the ornamentation used on these pieces would have increased that
level of protection substantially. Experiments with reconstructed helmets of 1.2 millimetres
thickness have shown that, against all but the most direct and powerful blows and missiles,
these helmets offered adequate protection for the owner (Junkelmann 1996, 52). In fact the
repouss work commonly found on such helmets results in a higher material density, thereby
affording even higher protection than normal (Moosbauer and Wilbers-Rost 2007, 32). Most
Type C chamfrons are richly adorned with such repouss work (see Figure 9) and it could be
argued that, apart from their decorative function, which will be discussed in detail below, this
would also have served to enhance the protective qualities of the equipment. This possible
divide between parade or sports equipment, on the one hand, and counterparts deemed more
useful for combat, on the other, is reflected quite vividly in the grave uncovered at Tell Oum
Hauran in Syria (Garbsch 1978 and Petculescu 1990, 847). Here the warrior was buried with
two almost full sets of equipment, including two helmets, one for parades and one for battle.
Crucially, however, the grave contained only one Type C chamfron (Petculescu 1990, 847). If
it is true that the soldier was interred with only one chamfron, then it could be interpreted that,

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unlike with helmets, only one type of chamfron was in use at any one time and this was used
for both parades and actual combat missions.

Figure 9. Part of the repouss work on one of the chamfrons from Straubing (catalogue No. 55).
Source: author

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In addition to the purely physical advantages these chamfrons would have offered to the horse
and, in extension, the cavalryman himself, it is also worth taking a closer look at the
psychological advantages offered by the use of such equipment. Plutarch describes how, at the
beginning of the battle of Carrhae, the Parthian cataphracts covered their horses armour with
blankets and skins, only to reveal their armour at the right moment, dealing the Romans a
terrible psychological blow (Plutarch, Crassus XXIV). Although such appearances were
probably very rare, the knowledge of possessing just slightly more protection than ones
adversary can dramatically lift the morale of troops and can equally diminish the morale of
the enemy. In fact it has been shown numerous times throughout history that if two forces of
equal numerical strength face each other, the one with the visibly higher morale can cause the
opponent to flee the battlefield, even before a real engagement has occurred (Sabin 2000, 13).
The psychological benefits of horse armour and masked helmets as a whole can therefore not
be underestimated (Junkelmann 1996, 53) and we must realise that the physical appearance of
a soldier, together with his equipment, can have a substantial effect on the battlefield (Bishop
1990, 25).

The historical sources themselves also offer some indication of the possibility that chamfrons
were used in a more active role on the battlefield. In his Tactica, Arrian describes how, at a
certain stage during the demonstrations of the Hippika Gymnasia, the soldiers change their
equipment and arm themselves as if for war, with armour, helmets and heavy shields (Tactica,
41.1). He does not mention, however, that the horses use different chamfrons for the occasion.
Instead, one must assume, they retain the chamfrons they have been wearing since the
beginning of the demonstration, meaning that their chamfrons could also be used for battle.
This interpretation matches the discoveries from Tell Oum Hauran, where just one chamfron
was found amongst otherwise two sets of equipment. Additionally, the inscription from the

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legionary fortress of Lambaesis in North Africa describing the Emperor Hadrians visit to the
base, reads that the Legate of Legio III Augusta introduced the cavalry taking part in the
described Hippika Gymnasia which has the appearance of real warfare (Campbell 1994, 19).
If, by this comment, the Legate is indicating that the equipment worn by the present
cavalrymen, which would most likely have included chamfrons, was the same the men would
have worn for a battle, then this could be interpreted as evidence for the use of chamfrons by
the Roman Army in combat. Furthermore, Josephus informs us that, during Titus siege of
Jerusalem during the First Jewish Revolt, a lapse in the siege was used to have the Roman
soldiers hold a parade in front of the citys walls, with every man wearing his best equipment
and thereby intimidating the enemy through the splendour of their appearance (Josephus, BJ
5.350). It would be hard to imagine a Roman army marching towards a siege whilst carrying
additional equipment that would not be useful in battle, especially whilst operating in the
desert. Instead, the fact that Josephus mentions the soldiers having to get their equipment out
of cases could indicate that it was not usual for Roman soldiers to wear their entire array of
equipment during a prolonged siege.

Having looked at the physical and psychological advantages that chamfrons most likely
afforded the Roman cavalry, the focus will now shift towards a different aspect, one that is of
importance for almost all types of Roman military equipment, namely decoration and display.

Display and morale:


One of the main reasons why chamfrons have been interpreted as being used primarily as
parade equipment is their often highly elaborate decoration. Their apparent artistic nature
made them, in the eyes of many scholars, unsuitable or even impractical for the rigours of
combat. However, the concept of art in an aesthetic sense is a comparatively recent creation

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(Scott 2006, 630) and in the field of Archaeology dates back to the time of Johann Joachim
Winckelmann in the eighteenth century. Additionally, it is only very recently that the
prominent display of military equipment has been removed from the battlefield and reserved
for the parade ground (Bishop 1990, 23). One only has to look at modern analogies, such as
the Guards regiments in London, to see that their parade dress is directly derived from the
battle dress of the early nineteenth century. The material or symbolic value, or the agency, an
object may have for the modern observer of any piece of Roman military equipment might
therefore be completely different from that of the original user (Millett 1994, 99). One must
therefore take a closer look at the use of decorative elements on Roman military equipment as
a whole and what importance the public display of such equipment had for the Roman soldier.

As already mentioned above, the appearance of a soldier was very important for his personal
recognition and his morale on the battlefield (Gilliver 2007, 10). This desire for display has its
origins in the highly individualistic warrior value system within the Roman Army (James
1998, 16 and Gilliver 2007, 14). This warrior mentality derives from the mythical legends of
early Roman history, describing numerous cases of single combat between Romans and their
enemies (for a more detailed discussion on this topic, see Lendon 2005). Warriorship and
glory were also highly important traits and values within most Germanic peoples (Nicolay
2007, 237), from which Rome recruited many of its auxiliary soldiers. The awareness of ones
appearance and display on the battlefield therefore played a highly important role in showing
ones prowess and qualities as a warrior (Gilliver 2007, 6, 17). Although in the Imperial
period Rome had a permanent, professional military force, it is wrong to see it as an
organisation as rigid and uniform as any modern Army. Therefore the term Roman Army,
although used in this dissertation, is perhaps a bit misleading to our understanding and we
should see it more as a large body of individuals, rather than a proper institution (James 1998,

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14). Therefore, apart from the soldiers own physical appearance, the equipment he wore
served as an expression of his own individual identity (Molloy 2012, 88). With this concept in
mind, some of the more highly decorated pieces of military equipment known of today could
perhaps be interpreted quite differently.

Out of several decorated cavalry helmets found on the Kops Plateau near the legionary
fortress of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, three helmets showed signs of once having had a
cover of real hair, probably imitating the hair of the owner (Willems 1995, 30 and Mitschke
and Schwab 2010). Since these helmets are interpreted as having been used for combat, they
are good examples of how an apparently non-functional decorative element was employed for
the purposes discussed above. In fact, if one looks at the field of Roman military equipment as
a whole, one notices that decorations on such equipment were very widespread, with belts,
swords or brooches often being elaborately decorated. Such decoration would also have
helped to underline a soldiers individual identity (James 1998, 21 and Haynes 2013). In his
description of the Gallic War, Julius Caesar describes a battle during which his troops were
ambushed and, according to his description, had no time to put on their insignia (BG 2.21). If
Caesar thought it necessary to mention this detail, then we must assume that the wearing of
such decorations was deemed essential during a battle.

If one extends this way of thinking to chamfrons, the objects of our main concern here, one
can easily see how their decorative features were deliberately employed for the protection of
the horse, as well as for the symbolic representation of the qualities of the soldier. Although
we would expect quite a large variation in the style and the decorative details on arms and
armour (Gilliver 2007, 3), there are limits as to the decorative variety of chamfrons and other
military equipment (Haynes 2013, 249). If one takes a closer look at the decorative designs on

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the best preserved chamfrons, namely those from Straubing and Eining, a certain pattern
emerges concerning the themes and symbols depicted. The most common symbols on these
chamfrons are depictions of Mars, Ganymede, Victoria, eagles, military insignia, maritime
subjects and serpents (Negin 2010, 167). This pattern is common to almost all categories of
Roman military equipment (Knzl 2008, 124). The frequent depiction of deities on military
equipment, especially Mars, the god of war, can be explained by the wish of the soldiers to
gain the favour of those gods and acquire their protection during battle (Nicolay 2007, 152).
However, given that the majority of Romes cavalry consisted of non-citizen auxiliary
soldiers, who most likely worshipped different deities, the absence of any depictions of local
gods or spirits raises some questions. Although it would be wrong to assume a cultural
uniformity amongst auxiliary troops purely based on the decoration of chamfrons (Barrett
1997, 6), such symbols certainly do serve as communication instruments (Robb 1998, 332)
and we must therefore ask ourselves what influence the Roman state had on the issuing of
chamfrons and other military equipment and by extension on their decoration.

Although we know that Roman soldiers had to pay for their equipment on enlistment (Breeze
1976, 93), the question is now whether this equipment included chamfrons for the cavalry.
Personal inscriptions found on numerous pieces of military equipment, including on a number
of chamfrons (see MacMullan 1960 and Prammer 1989, 64), could indicate that, after
purchasing their weapons from the Army, the weapons were subsequently owned by the
soldiers themselves (Nicolay 2007, 166-167). Nicolay also argues (2007, 170) that the parade
equipment belonged to the soldiers themselves, not the unit in which they served. Prammer
(1989, 64), however, argues that the presence of inscriptions on equipment, especially those
pieces with multiple names, indicates that the chamfrons belonged to the unit and were passed
on from soldier to soldier. However, since soldiers could also have their weapons produced

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privately by workshops in the vicus outside their fort (Nicolay 2007, 170), it is a question of
where the soldiers got their chamfrons from first. Here the decoration of these chamfrons
could be the main indication. Since all decorated chamfrons depict very traditional Roman
gods and mythological figures, it is perhaps more likely that they were issued as standard
equipment to cavalry soldiers on enlistment, after having been produced to a standard pattern,
with just a few variations between them. This is also indicated by the leather chamfrons from
Vindolanda, which, being almost identical in design, were probably manufactured in series
and distributed widely (Van Driel-Murray 1989, 286). The evidence from Vindolanda also
shows that the chamfrons were being manufactured within the fort itself and that some of
them were in the process of being recycled before deposition (Van Driel-Murray 1993, 9),
again indicating that the equipment belonged to the unit, not the individual soldier. The
question of whether the Roman Army would really have supplied their soldiers with
expensive equipment that they could only use for occasional parades and demonstrations, but
not for war, is therefore perhaps more straightforward than one might otherwise assume. It
seems highly likely that the use of chamfrons would have extended well beyond the parade
ground. With this interpretation, a soldiers parade equipment simply becomes part of his
normal equipment, from which he could choose what to use in what conditions (Bishop 1990,
24) and which he had to sell back to the army at the end of his career. Alternatively, it could
be argued that, in order to fulfil their role as a demonstration of a soldiers individuality, the
chamfrons would have had to be purchased by the soldiers themselves, perhaps under orders
from their commanders. In fact, there is evidence for the manufacturing of military equipment
by private professionals (Nicolay 2007, 130). If this were the case, then we must explain the
relatively limited variety of decorative designs on these chamfrons.

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Since the majority of Type C chamfrons date to the late second or early third century AD, we
can perhaps assume a greater level of Romanisation, to use the highly debated term, than in
the first century AD. The homogeneity of military clothing and equipment amongst large
parts of the Roman Army can therefore perhaps be explained not by an increase of state
control - although Haynes (2013, 286) has argued that the use of native equipment was far
more restrictive for regular auxiliaries than for irregular numeri units - but rather by the
gradual exchange of ideas and fashions amongst soldiers (James 1998, 19), especially if
weapons were passed down from soldier to soldier through the generations (Gilliver 2007, 4).
Private ownership and production of weapons would, however, nevertheless have encouraged
a certain variation in the design of such equipment (Gilliver 2007, 4). A potential advantage
for soldiers having to purchase some elements of their own equipment separately has to do
with retirement planning. Since a soldier had the option, or maybe even the obligation, to sell
his equipment back to the Army at the end of his career (Breeze 1976, 94), one could possibly
interpret the purchase of expensive chamfrons and other items as an attempt to acquire more
money on retirement. If a soldier had the option of paying for expensive equipment through
regular instalments, then it would have been possible for him to pay off an expensive
chamfron over a longer period of time, whilst still living within the financial security of the
Army, and then selling it for a large sum of money at the end of his career. The development
of soldiers pay is therefore of paramount importance for the support of this theory.

Whilst in the first century AD Roman soldiers faced relatively high deductions from their pay
for food, equipment and other items, those deductions were gradually decreased over the
course of the second century (Speidel 1992, 97). As can be seen in Table 3, the pay that a
soldier received was also dramatically increased several times in the second and third
centuries AD (see also Speidel 1992). With this dramatic increase in pay in real terms above

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average inflation, the purchasing power of soldiers improved substantially, thereby enabling
them to buy more elaborate equipment, such as the chamfrons discussed above. The potential
development from leather armour to metal armour for horses might therefore also be related
to this increase in pay and the desire of soldiers, as well as the ability of the Army as a whole,
to purchase more elaborate equipment.

Table 2. The development of pay in the Roman Army (sestertii per year)
Source: Speidel 1992, 106.

One further field of thought must be presented, however, in order to potentially make an
argument for one of the two models discussed above. This is the debate concerning the
purpose and interpretation of hoards, a problem that has plagued archaeologists for
generations. Previously, hoards had often been seen as an indication of unrest and violence in
an area, giving reason for people to bury their most valuable belongings until it was safe to
return. This, however, is a very simplistic way of looking at a very complex symbolic
problem. Millett (1994, 99) has argued that one cannot simply see hoards as an attempt to
hide ones wealth, but that far more varied interpretations must be sought. An example for
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such a different interpretation comes again from the legionary fort at Nijmegen. The cavalry
helmets discovered there are interpreted as having been deposited as sacrificial offerings
(Willems 1995, 30) and not as having been buried for their protection or simply discarded.
The Straubing hoard is another example worth investigating. In Prammers publication it
states that the chamfrons, helmets and greaves, together with the other objects found in the
hoard, were buried by Germanic invaders shortly after the destruction of the fort of Straubing
itself (Prammer 1989, 64). He fails to explain, however, why the invaders neglected to
retrieve the hoard again later. It could be suggested, therefore, that the hoard was not
deposited for safe-keeping by the invaders, or possibly even the Romans, but instead was
considered a sacrificial offering, never intended to be found again.

Wider implications:
Having looked at various different aspects concerning the chamfrons of the Roman cavalry, it
is now time to ask ourselves what this information can tell us about the Roman Army as a
whole. The study of Roman military equipment is a very wide field, and investigation of one
aspect of it cannot be undertaken without taking other elements of this discipline into account.
As has been shown, therefore, the study of chamfrons as an individual piece of equipment can
have implications for our understanding of other equipment categories and vice versa. The
question of the role and quality of auxiliary troops within the Roman Army has been clarified
by indicating that their equipment, training and morale were in no way inferior to that of their
legionary counterparts. Additionally, the information gained on the production and
distribution of Roman military equipment through this study has increased our understanding
of the subject and strengthened our view that the Roman Army was not a monolithic,
impersonal war machine, but was instead a large, well-organised collection of individuals, all
of whom were active agents within their social system.

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Conclusion:
This dissertation has focused on exploring the variety and scale on which the Roman Army
used horse armour for its cavalry throughout the centuries. Having expanded our view of what
pieces of equipment horse armour actually consists of, the historical development and use of
such armour within the Roman world has shown not only that the Roman cavalry used horse
armour quite extensively, but that the vast majority of historical sources only cover a very
small proportion of the type of material in question. The discrepancy between historical
sources and the archaeological remains demonstrates the need for a more integrated approach
to Roman studies between the two disciplines, especially in relation to the study of Roman
horse armour. The conception that horse armour relates primarily to heavily armoured
cataphractarii and clibanarii has been disproven. Although such cavalry did play an
important role in warfare during the later periods of the Roman Empire, the vast majority of
horse armour finds, namely chamfrons and eye guards, are associated with regular cavalry,
thereby potentially altering our understanding of the importance and use of Roman cavalry as
a whole.

The analysis of the decoration on chamfrons and other elements of Roman military equipment
has shown that our modern conception of art is more of a hindrance than a benefit to a proper
interpretation of ancient finds and that we must consider the ancient value and meaning of
symbols and materials if we are to fully appreciate their original purpose. With this in mind, it
is questionable whether the concept of parade equipment actually existed in the Roman
Army (Coulston 1990, 147 and Gilliver 2007, 9) and, if not, we need to consider how we
should categorise Roman military equipment in the future.

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The scope of this dissertation is not sufficient to adequately discuss every single aspect related
to the subject of horse armour, or armour as a whole, and it would not be wise to attempt to.
Instead, it is hoped that this dissertation will act as a starting point from which further, more
detailed studies, can focus on individual aspects touched on above, which should add
significantly to our understanding and appreciation of this extensive topic.

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Appendix:
Catalogue

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Appendix: Catalogue
1. Pair of eye guards, Type B
Date: Late 1st century BC early 1st century AD
Material: unknown, dimensions: unknown
Origin: Found in Barracks II of Herrera de Pisuerga, Spain
Location: Museo Arqueolgico Provincial, Spain
Sources: Aurrecoechea 2010, 89

Source: Aurrecoechea 2010, 93

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2. Chamfron, Type D
Date: 1st century AD, probably Claudian
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 33 cm, width: 30 cm
Origin: Found during excavations from 1887 1900 in the Legionary fort at Neuss, Germany
Location: Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, Inv. 9261
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 85 S1

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 44

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3. Fragment of a horse-hair chamfron, Type D


Date: 1st century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 20 cm, width: 32 cm
Origin: Found 1993 in the Legionary fortress of Nijmegen, Netherlands
Location: Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen, Inv. CA.1993.100.07324
Sources: Haalebos 1995, 37; Willems 1995, 31; Junkelmann 1996, 99 and Damato 2009, 197

Source: Willems 1995, 31

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4. Two eye guards of a chamfron, Type A


Date: 1st century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 14 cm, width: 12.2 cm
Origin: Found during excavations from 1887 1900 in the Legionary fort at Neuss, Germany
Location: Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, Inv. 7843/7844
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 86 S7

Source: Andrea Bumann, LVR LandesMuseum Bonn

5. Single eye guard from chamfron, Type A


Date: 1st century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 8.5 cm, width: 7.4 cm
Origins: Found 1974 in the legionary fortress of Carnuntum, Austria
Location: Vienna, private collection
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 86 S8; otherwise unpublished

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 46

45

Sebastian Schuckelt

6. Two eye guards of a chamfron, Type B


Date: 1st century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 16 cm, width: 13.5 cm
Origin: Found 1898 in the Rhine near Weisenau, Germany
Location: Mittelrheinisches Landesmuseum, Mainz, Germany Inv. 3.X.98
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 85 S2; Robinson 1975, 191

GDKE - Landesmuseum Mainz (Ursula Rudischer)

46

Sebastian Schuckelt

GDKE - Landesmuseum Mainz (Ursula Rudischer)

47

Sebastian Schuckelt

7. Two eye guards of a chamfron, Type B


Date: 1st century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 13 cm and 14 cm respectively, width: 11 cm
Origin: Found 1904 in the river Rhine, Germany
Location: Mittelrheinisches Landesmuseum, Mainz, Germany Inv. 29.II.04
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 86 S3; Robinson 1975

GDKE - Landesmuseum Mainz (Ursula Rudischer)

48

Sebastian Schuckelt

GDKE - Landesmuseum Mainz (Ursula Rudischer)

49

Sebastian Schuckelt

8. Single eye guard from a chamfron, Type B


Date: 1st century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 13 cm, width: 11 cm
Origin: Found 1898 in the river Rhine, Germany
Location: Mittelrheinisches Landesmuseum, Mainz, Germany Inv. 10.06.1898
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 86 S4; Robinson 1975

GDKE - Landesmuseum Mainz (Ursula Rudischer)

50

Sebastian Schuckelt

9. Single eye guard from chamfron, Type B


Date: 1st century AD
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: unknown
Origin: unknown
Location: Arheoloki muzej u Splitu, Croatia
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 86 S5; Damato 2009, 197

Source: Toni Seser, Arheoloki muzej u Splitu

51

Sebastian Schuckelt

10. Three-piece chamfron, Type B


Date: 1st century AD
Material, dimensions: Iron with silvered copper alloy, height: 18.5 cm, width: 29 cm
Origin: Found in Dalj, Croatia probably in 1914
Location: Arheoloki muzej, Zagreb, Croatia Inv. AMZ 9231
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 86 S10; Radman-Livaja 2005; Sanader 2010

Source: Sanader 2010, 226

11. Small two-piece chamfron, Type B


Date: 1st century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 12.4 cm each, width: 15 cm each
Origin: Found 1940 in Pompeii, Italy in the Casa dei quattro stili
Location: Antiquarium, Pompeii, Italy Inv. 1342.4 and 7136.1940
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 87 S11

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 47

52

Sebastian Schuckelt

12. Fragment of a leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 90 AD
Material, dimensions: Leather, height: 29 cm, width: 28.5 cm
Origin: Found 1981-1984 in the fort at Carlisle, United Kingdom
Location: Carlisle Museum, United Kingdom
Sources: Winterbottom 1989, 334; Junkelmann 1996, 99

Source: Winterbottom 1989, 333

53

Sebastian Schuckelt

13. Fragment of a leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 90 AD
Material, dimensions: Leather, height: 22.5 cm, width: 26.1 cm
Origin: Found 1982 in Castle Street, Carlisle, United Kingdom
Location: Carlisle Museum, United Kingdom
Sources: Winterbottom 1989, 330-334; Junkelmann 1996, 99

Source: Winterbottom 1989, 332

54

Sebastian Schuckelt

14. Possible leather horse armour


Date: Late 1st early 2nd century AD
Material: leather, dimensions: unknown
Origin: Found during road works at the fort of Carlisle, United Kingdom
Location: Carlisle Museum, United Kingdom
Sources: Winterbottom 1989

Source: Winterbottom 1989, 335

55

Sebastian Schuckelt

15. Leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Late 1st century AD
Material, dimensions: Leather with brass-headed studs, thickness: c. 3 mm
Origin: Found 1906 during the excavation of the fort of Newstead, United Kingdom
Location: National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 86 S6; Curle 1913; Robinson 1975

Source: Curle 1913, 404

56

Sebastian Schuckelt

16. Fragments of leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Late 1st century AD
Material: Leather with brass-headed studs, dimensions: unknown
Origin: Found 1906 during the excavation of the fort of Newstead, United Kingdom
Location: National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, United Kingdom Inv. X.FRA 74
Sources: Curle 1911; Curle 1913

Source: Curle 1913, 401

57

Sebastian Schuckelt

17. Leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 100 AD
Material, dimensions: Leather with brass studs and plates, height: 53.8 cm, width: 44.8 cm,
thickness: 4-5 mm
Origin: Found 1987 in the fort of Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Location: The Roman Army Museum, Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Sources: Van Driel-Murray 1989; Junkelmann 1992, Fig. 183; Van Driel-Murray 1993;
Junkelmann 1996; Bowman 1998

Source: Van Driel-Murray 1993, 11

58

Sebastian Schuckelt

18. Fragment of leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 100 AD
Material, dimensions: Leather with traces of metal studs, height: 6 cm, width: 45 cm,
thickness: 4-5 mm
Origin: Found 1985 in Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Location: The Roman Army Museum, Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Sources: Van Driel-Murray 1989, 283-292; Van Driel-Murray 1993; Junkelmann 1996, 99

Source: Van Driel-Murray 1989, 284

19. Fragment of leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 100 AD
Material: Leather
Origin: Found 1985 in Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Location: The Roman Army Museum, Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Sources: Van Driel-Murray 1993

Source: Van Driel-Murray 1993, 12

59

Sebastian Schuckelt

20. Fragment of leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 100 AD
Material, dimensions: Leather, diameter: 38 cm
Origin: Found 1985 in Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Location: The Roman Army Museum, Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Sources: Van Driel-Murray 1989, 283-292; Junkelmann 1996, 99

Source: Van Driel-Murray 1993, 12

21. Fragment of leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 100 AD
Material: Leather
Origin: Found 1985 in Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Location: The Roman Army Museum, Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Sources: Van Driel-Murray 1993

Source: Van Driel-Murray 1993, 12

60

Sebastian Schuckelt

22. Fragment of leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 100 AD
Material: Leather
Origin: Found 1985 in Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Location: The Roman Army Museum, Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Sources: Van Driel-Murray 1993

Source: Van Driel-Murray 1993, 13

23. Fragment of leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 100 AD
Material: Leather
Origin: Found 1985 in Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Location: The Roman Army Museum, Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Sources: Van Driel-Murray 1993

Source: Van Driel-Murray 1993, 13

61

Sebastian Schuckelt

24. Fragment of leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Around 100 AD
Material: Leather
Origin: Found 1985 in Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Location: The Roman Army Museum, Vindolanda, United Kingdom
Sources: Van Driel-Murray 1993

Source: Van Driel-Murray 1993, 13

62

Sebastian Schuckelt

25. Single eye guard from chamfron, Type A (possibly one of a pair with example from
Megen)
Date: Probably 1st 2nd century
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 6.5 cm
Origin: Found in Lith, Netherlands
Location: Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, NL: Inventary Nr.: k 1971/1.4
Sources: Stuart 1986, Provincie van een imperium, 118. A.K. Lawson 1978, Studien zum
rmischen Pferdegeschirr, Jahrb. RGZM 25, 159-160

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden , NL

26. Single eye guard from leather chamfron, Type A (possibly one of a pair with example
from Lith)
Date: 1st/2nd century AD
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: unknown
Origin: Found in the De Gouden Ham dredge pit at Megen, Netherlands
Sources: Nicolay 2007, 47

Source: Nicolay 2007, 46

63

Sebastian Schuckelt

27. Single eye guard from leather chamfron, Type A


Date: 1st/2nd century AD
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: unknown
Origin: unknown
Location: Rmisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz, Germany Inv. O.10 459
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 86 S9; otherwise unpublished

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 46

28. Eye guard of a chamfron, Type A


Date: Late 1st early 2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 7.3 cm, width: 13.5 cm
Origin: Found 1796 in Ribchester, United Kingdom
Location: British Museum, London, United Kingdom Inv. 1814, 0705.2
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 58; Jackson & Craddock 1995, 82 Fig. 47
29. Eye guard of a chamfron, Type A
Date: Late 1st early 2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 7.5 cm, width: 14.8 cm
Origin: Found 1796 in Ribchester, United Kingdom
Location: British Museum, London, United Kingdom Inv. 1814, 0705.2
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 58; Jackson & Craddock 1995, 82 Fig. 47

Eye guards of Nos. 28 and 29. Trustees of the British Museum

64

Sebastian Schuckelt

30. Fragment of eye guard of a chamfron, Type A


Date: Late 1st early 2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: unknown, width: 13.5 cm
Origin: Found 1796 in Ribchester, United Kingdom
Location: British Museum, London, United Kingdom
Sources: Jackson & Craddock 1995, 81
31. Chamfron mount, Type A
Date: Late 1st early 2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 7.2 cm, diameter: 7.3 cm
Origin: Found 1796 in Ribchester, United Kingdom
Location: British Museum, London, United Kingdom Inv. 1814, 0705.6
Sources: Jackson & Craddock 1995, 82 Fig. 49

Trustees of the British Museum

32. Fragment of eye guard of a chamfron, Type A


Date: Late 1st early 2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 5.3 cm, length: 5.9 cm
Origin: Found 1796 in Ribchester, United Kingdom
Location: British Museum, London, United Kingdom
Sources: Jackson & Craddock 1995, 81

65

Sebastian Schuckelt

33. Complete set of laminated scale horse armour


Date: Late 1st early 2nd century AD
Material: Iron, dimensions: unknown
Origin: Found in Tumulus I, grave 2 at Chatalka, Bulgaria
Sources: Damato 2009, 198; Bujukliev 1986

Source: Damato 2009, 199

34. Single eye guard with metal plate, Type B


Date: 1st/2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy with green patina, length: 21.2 cm
Origin: unknown
Location: Private collection in southern Germany
Source: Online catalogue of Hermann Historica auction house, auction 63

Source: http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/images63_max/15924.jpg: Accessed 04.10.2013

66

Sebastian Schuckelt

35. Single eye guard with metal plate, Type B


Date: 1st/2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy with green patina and remains of silvering, length: 16.0
cm, width: 10.5 cm
Origin: unknown
Location: Private collection
Source: Online catalogue of Hermann Historica auction house, auction 57

Source: http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/images57_max/79938.jpg: Accessed 04.10.2013

67

Sebastian Schuckelt

36. Single eye guard with metal plate, Type B


Date: 1st/2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 26.5 cm
Origin: unknown
Location: Private collection
Source: Online catalogue of Hermann Historica auction house, auction 66

Source: Hermann Historica

68

Sebastian Schuckelt

37. Left side plate of three-piece chamfron, Type B


Date: 2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 20.7 cm, width: 12.9 cm
Origin: Found 1892 in the vicinity of the fort of Regensburg-Kumpfmhl, Germany
Location: Museum der Stadt Regensburg, Germany Inv. A 1470
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 56

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 11

38. Three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: 2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 22.5 cm, width: 38.0 cm
Origin: Found 1955 in the Roman necropolis of Tell Oum Hauran, Syria
Location: National Museum Damascus, Syria Inv. C 7364
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 61
39. Middle part of large three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: 2nd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 41 cm
Origin: Found 1926 in the canabae of the Legionary fortress of Apulum, Romania
Location: Muzeul de Istoria Transilvaniei, Cluj, Romania, Inv. 2582
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 87 S15; Ferri 1933; Radnti 1948

69

Sebastian Schuckelt

40. Large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: Second half of 2nd/early 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 63.5 cm, width: 22.0 cm
Origin: Found 1835 in the Roman fort of Gherla, Romania
Location: Muzeul de Istoria Transilvaniei, Cluj, Romania
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 58

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 13

70

Sebastian Schuckelt

41. Central panel of a three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: unknown
Origin: unknown
Location: Museum Weienburg, Germany
Sources: Negin 2010, 168

Source: Negin 2010, 168

71

Sebastian Schuckelt

42. Large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: Second half of 2nd/early 3rd century AD
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: unknown
Origin: Found 1835 in the Roman fort of Gherla, Romania
Location: Muzeul de Istoria Transilvaniei, Cluj, Romania
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 58
43. Fragment from left side of large three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 6.3 cm, width: 6.6 cm
Origin: Found during excavations from 1890 1898 in Roman fort of Weienburg, Germany
Location: Museum Weienburg, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 87 S12; Fabricius 1906
44. Single eye guard from medium sized three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 12.5 cm
Origin: Found during excavations from 1890 1898 in Roman fort of Weienburg, Germany
Location: Museum Weienburg, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 88 S19; Fabricius 1906

72

Sebastian Schuckelt

45. Single eye guard from medium sized three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, max. width: 12.8 cm
Origin: Found 1936 during construction work near the celtic oppidum of Manching, Germany
Location: Museum Ingolstadt, Germany Inv. 349
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 88 S20; Robinson 1975

Source: Birgit Gebhard, Stadtarchiv Ingolstadt

73

Sebastian Schuckelt

46. Eye guard of chamfron, Type A


Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: unknown
Origin: unknown
Location: Corstopitum Site Museum, Corbridge, United Kingdom Inv. 75.1356
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 88 S21; Simpson 1964; Robinson 1975

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 48

74

Sebastian Schuckelt

47. Fragments of a single eye guard, Type A


Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, diameter: 12 cm
Origin: Found in the Auxiliary fort of Inlceni, Romania
Sources: Diaconescu and Opreanu 1987; Isac and Brbulescu 2008; Junkelmann 1996, 100

Source: Isac and Brbulescu 2008, 220

48. Middle part of large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 38 cm
Origin: unknown
Location: Muse du CinquAntenaire, Brussels, Belgium Inv. A 454
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 87 S16
49. Fragment of a three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 12.6 cm, width: 6.8 cm
Origin: Found in the legionary fortress of Carnuntum, Austria
Location: Archologisches Museum Carnuntinum, Austria Inv. 12214
Sources: Junkelmann 1996, 99; Humer and Jobst 1992, 241
50. Fragment of a three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 9.7 cm, width: 5.1 cm
Origin: Found in the legionary fortress of Carnuntum, Austria
Location: Archologisches Museum Carnuntinum, Austria Inv. 12216
Sources: Junkelmann 1996, 99; Humer and Jobst 1992, 241

75

Sebastian Schuckelt

51. Fragment of the centre piece of a three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 5 cm
Origin: Found as part of a hoard in Eining, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1981, 3121
Sources: Junkelmann 1996, 100
52. Fragment of a three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, length: 14.5 cm
Origin: Found 1921 in the fort of Vechten, Netherlands
Location: Provinciaal Oudheidkundig Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands
Sources: Junkelmann 1996, 99; Kalee 1989

Source: Kalee 1989, 217

76

Sebastian Schuckelt

53. Right side of large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 27.5 cm, width: 19 cm
Origin: Found in the 19th century in Szny, Hungary
Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria Inv. VI 2780
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 87 S14; Mnsterberg 1903; Drexel 1924

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

54. Fragment of three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: 2nd/3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 4.4 cm, width: 4.6 cm
Origin: Found 1976 behind the northern gate of the fort of Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmueum, Straubing, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 88 S18; Prammer 1976

77

Sebastian Schuckelt

55. Large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First third of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 45.5 cm, width: 50.5 cm
Origin: Found 1950 near a Roman villa around 3 km west of the fort of Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmuseum, Straubing, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 47

Source: author

78

Sebastian Schuckelt

56. Centre piece of three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: Probably 2nd 3rd century
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: height: 26.2 cm, width: 16.2 cm, thickness: c. 0,01cm
Origin: Found during the Prysg Field excavations at Caerleon, United Kingdom
Location: Roman Legionary Museum, Caerleon, United Kingdom
Sources: Chapman 2005, 144-145

Source: author

79

Sebastian Schuckelt

57. Large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First third of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Silver-coated copper alloy, height: 41.8 cm, width: 45.0 cm
Origin: Found 1950 near a Roman villa around 3 km west of the fort of Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmuseum, Straubing, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 47

Source: author

80

Sebastian Schuckelt

58. Large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: Probably late 2nd early 3rd century AD
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: unknown
Origin: Seized in 2013 by the Turkish police in the province of anakkale, Turkey
Location: anakkale Arkeoloji Mzesi, Turkey
Sources: as yet unpublished

Source: Hurriyet Daily News, April 16, 2013: Accessed 03.10.2013

81

Sebastian Schuckelt

59. Large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First third of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 41.6 cm, width: 46.0 cm
Origin: Found 1950 near a Roman villa around 3 km west of the fort of Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmuseum, Straubing, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 47

Source: author

82

Sebastian Schuckelt

60. Large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First third of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 39.6 cm, width: 43.3 cm
Origin: Found 1950 near a Roman villa around 3 km west of the fort of Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmuseum, Straubing, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 47

Source: author

83

Sebastian Schuckelt

61. Fragment of the central panel of a chamfron, Type C


Date: Probably 2nd 3rd century
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: unknown
Origin: unknown
Location: Rmisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz, Germany
Sources: Negin 2010, 165

Source: Negin 2010, 165

84

Sebastian Schuckelt

62. Large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First third of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 40.4 cm, width: 45.8 cm
Origin: Found 1950 near a Roman villa around 3 km west of the fort of Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmuseum, Straubing, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 47

Source: author

85

Sebastian Schuckelt

63. Centre piece of three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: Late 2nd to Mid-3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy with tin gilding, height: 35 cm, width: 13.8 cm
Origin: Unknown
Location: Private collection
Source: Online catalogue of Hermann Historica auction house, auction 68

Source: http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/images68_max/88880.jpg Accessed: 23.04.2014

86

Sebastian Schuckelt

64. Left side plate of large chamfron, Type C


Date: First third of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 34.9 cm, width: 16.1 cm
Origin: Found 1950 near a Roman villa around 3 km west of the fort of Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmuseum, Straubing, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 47

Source: author

87

Sebastian Schuckelt

65. Fragment of a large three-piece chamfron, together with five smaller fragments, Type C
Date: Second half of 2nd century first half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 19 cm, width: 15 cm max.
Origin: Found 1977 in Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmuseum, Straubing, Germany Inv. 15241
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 87 S13; Born and Junkelmann 1997, 120

Source: author

88

Sebastian Schuckelt

Source: Born and Junkelmann 1997, 149 Fig. 93

66. Three-piece chamfron, Type B


Date: First third of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Silver-coated copper alloy, height: 25.5 cm, width: 42.5 cm
Origin: Found 1950 near a Roman villa around 3 km west of the fort of Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmuseum, Straubing, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 47

Source: author

89

Sebastian Schuckelt

67. Three-piece chamfron, Type B


Date: First third of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 26.5 cm, width: 48.0 cm
Origin: Found 1950 near a Roman villa around 3 km west of the fort of Straubing, Germany
Location: Gubodenmuseum, Straubing, Germany
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 47

Source: author

90

Sebastian Schuckelt

68. Centre piece of three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 40 cm, width: 14.9 cm, thickness: 0.3-0.4 mm
Origin: Found 1990 as part of a hoard in the eastern vicus of Knzing, Germany
Location: Museum Quintana, Knzing, Germany
Sources: Junkelmann 1996, 82

Source: Museum Quintana

91

Sebastian Schuckelt

69. Four fragments of right plate of large three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 9.0 cm
Origin: Found 1962 in the principia of the fort of Knzing, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung Munich, Germany Inv. 1966, 986
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Herrmann 1971, Robinson 1975

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 7


70. Fragment of the centre piece of medium sized three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 8.5 cm
Origin: Found 1962 in the principia of the fort of Knzing, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung Munich, Germany Inv. 1966, 986
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Herrmann 1971, Robinson 1975
71. Eight fragments of eye guards of medium sized three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, length: max. 10.6 cm
Origin: Found 1962 in the principia of the fort of Knzing, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1966, 986
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Herrmann 1971, Robinson 1975

92

Sebastian Schuckelt

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 7


72. Six fragments of eye guards with triangular breaching decoration, Type A
Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, length: 10 cm
Origin: Found 1962 in the principia of the fort of Knzing, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1966, 986
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Herrmann 1971, Robinson 1975

Source: Garbsch 1978, pl. 7


73. Twenty-nine fragments of three-piece chamfrons, Type B or C
Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material: Copper alloy
Origin: Found 1962 in the principia of the fort of Knzing, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1966, 986
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Herrmann 1971, Robinson 1975
74. Two partially melted fragments of an eye guard, Type A
Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, length: 4 cm and 2.5 cm respectively
Origin: Found 1987 in the eastern vicus of Knzing, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1989, 1191b
Sources: Junkelmann 1996, 99; Fischer 1991, 89

93

Sebastian Schuckelt

75. Two parts of a three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 9 cm
Origin: Found as part of a hoard in Sittling, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1993, 1179
Sources: Junkelmann 1996, 100
76. Three-piece chamfron, Type C
Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 41.5 cm, width: 46.8 cm
Origin: Found 1975 in the vicus of Eining, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1978, 121-140
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Kellner 1976, Kellner 1978

Source: Knzl 2008, 123

94

Sebastian Schuckelt

77. Three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 37.4 cm, width: 43.1 cm
Origin: Found 1975 in the vicus of Eining, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1978, 121-140
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Kellner 1976, Kellner 1978

Source: Garbsch 1978, 10

78. Front plate of three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 20.4 cm, width: 13.8 cm
Origin: Found 1975 in the vicus of Eining, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1978, 121-140
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Kellner 1976, Kellner 1978
79. Small three-piece chamfron, Type B
Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, diameter: 15.7 16.6 cm
Origin: Found 1975 in the vicus of Eining, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1978, 121-140
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Kellner 1976, Kellner 1978

Source: Garbsch 1978, 11

95

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80. Front plate of three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 21.8 cm, width: 10.3 cm
Origin: Found 1975 in the vicus of Eining, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1978, 121-140
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Kellner 1976, Kellner 1978

81. Small three-piece chamfron, Type B


Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 16.7 cm, width: 15.3 cm
Origin: Found 1975 in the vicus of Eining, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1978, 121-140
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Kellner 1976, Kellner 1978

Source: Garbsch 1978, 11

82. Pair of eye guards, Type A


Date: First half of 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, diameter: 13.7 and 13.9 cm
Origin: Found 1975 in the vicus of Eining, Germany
Location: Prhistorische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany Inv. 1978, 121-140
Sources: Garbsch 1978, Kellner 1976, Kellner 1978

96

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83. Fragment of a chamfron, Type C


Date: Probably first half of 3rd century AD
Material: Copper alloy
Origin: Found in Nida-Heddernheim, Germany as part of a collection of material destined for
reuse
Location: unknown
Sources: Reis 2002, 63-64

Source: Reis 2002, 64

97

Sebastian Schuckelt

84. Fragment of small three piece chamfron, Type B


Date: Mid-3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 9.3 cm, diameter of eye guard: 11.2 cm
Origin: Found 1978 in a burning layer of the fort at Gilu, Romania
Location: unknown
Sources: Junkelmann 1996, 83 Fig. 173; Diaconescu and Opreanu 1987, 157; Isac and
Brbulescu 2008, 220

Source: Isac and Brbulescu 2008, 220

98

Sebastian Schuckelt

85. Fragment of middle piece of medium sized three-piece chamfron, Type C


Date: 3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, height: 12 cm, width: 15.5 cm
Origin: Found in the Legionary fortress of Enns-Lorch, Austria
Location: Museum Lauriacum, Enns, Austria
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 87 S17; Ubl 1974

Source: Museum Lauriacum Enns

99

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86. Eye guard of a metal chamfron, partly reconstructed, Type C


Date: 3rd century
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy, diameter: 15 cm
Origin: Found in the Legionary fortress of Enns-Lorch, Austria
Location: Museum Lauriacum, Enns, Austria Inv. R II 301
Sources: Ubl 1997

Source: Museum Lauriacum Enns

100

Sebastian Schuckelt

87. Complete set of equine body armour


Date: Mid-3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Iron on linen with leather, scale length: 6 cm, scale width: 4.5 cm,
total length: 148 cm, total width: 110 cm
Origin: Found in Tower 19 of the city of Dura Europos, Syria
Location: Yale University Art Gallery, United States
Sources: James 2004, 131; Bishop and Coulston 2011, 191; Brown 1936

Source: Yale University Art Gallery, public domain

88. Complete set of equine body armour


Date: Mid-3rd century AD
Material, dimensions: Copper alloy on linen with leather, scale length: 3.5 cm,
scale width: 2.5 cm, total length: 122 cm, total width: 169 cm
Origin: Found in Tower 19 of the city of Dura Europos, Syria
Location: National Museum Damascus, Syria
Sources: James 2004, 131; Bishop and Coulston 2011, 192; Brown 1936

Source: Brown 1936, pl. XXII 2

101

Sebastian Schuckelt

89. Fragments of equine body armour


Date: Mid-3rd century AD
Material: Copper alloy on leather
Origin: Found in Tower 19 of the city of Dura Europos, Syria
Location: Yale University Art Gallery, United States
Sources: James 2004, 132; Brown 1936

Source: Thom Richardson, Royal Armouries Leeds

102

Sebastian Schuckelt

90. Possible leather chamfron, Type A


Date: Found in 4th century AD context
Material, dimensions: Leather with copper alloy studs and decorative plaque, thickness: 3-4
mm
Origin: Found during the excavations at the Legionary fortress of Caerleon, United Kingdom
Location: National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Sources: Hill 2013

The copper alloy plaque from Caerleon which would have been attached to the top of the leather chamfron.
Source: Hill 2013, 80

91. Fragment of eye guard, Type A


Date: unknown
Material: Copper alloy, dimensions: unknown
Origin: unknown
Location: Museum Chesters, United Kingdom
Sources: Garbsch 1978, 88 S22

103

Sebastian Schuckelt

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